Megadeth played a rip-roaring set last night at Gulf Bike Week 2012 exceeding all expectations and making the Megadeth fans of Dubai very, very happy. From the opening of Trust to the closing bars of Peace Sells there was sweat, there was headbanging and there were devil horns a-plenty. Despite the heat and the small, but fervent crowd Megadeth gave the show their all, thrashing out riff after riff and keeping the crowd yelling for more, and more. Highlights included my personal favourites ‘Public Enemy No.1’, (the music video played on the big screens looked awesome), ‘Symphony of Destruction’, and ‘Countdown to Extinction’. It was fantastic to see this band hit Dubai again. For some audience members, this was their first ever concert and they loved the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd and of the band.
However, as with all gigs there were some low points, these included some concert-goers at the front not understanding the concept of a mosh-pit and throwing punches at those who were moshing (if you don’t like the heat get out of the kitchen guys). The security being a little hardcore (however, this is a complaint at every gig here. They are told to watch for violence and stop it, and they misinterpret moshing as violence). Those in the General Admission area were complaining that they could not hear Mustaine’s voice or Broderick’s solos. However the sound in the Rock Zone and VIP areas was great.
On a final note yes, the crowd was abysmal for a band of this calibre, but we have come to expect a poor showing from metalheads in the region. Calls of ‘Bring back Dubai Desert Rock’ are likely to be taken as a joke when it seems we cannot get more than a few thousand metalheads to Megadeth.
2. Hangar 18
3. A Tout Le Monde
4. Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)
5. Public Enemy No. 1
6. Skin o’ My Teeth
7. Symphony of Destruction
8. Architecture of Aggression
9. Foreclosure of a Dream
10. Sweating Bullets
11. This Was My Life
12. Countdown to Extinction
13. High Speed Dirt
15. Ashes in Your Mouth
16. Peace Sells
Progressive metal/rockers Absolace played a massive set, over an hour long. As always, the band created an impressive show and showed off their impressive musicianship. Lead singer Nadim looked so comfortable on that stage that he could have been opening for Megadeth all his life. Great set by a great local band. A couple sitting next to us were heard to remark “Are these guys local? I am impressed, they are great.”
Personally I love these guys, they have fantastic music and a ‘screw you’ on stage attitude, we loved their crowd interaction and lead singer Mike’s haranguing of the crowd: “Who here is a real Megadeth fan? You are? Ok so what’s the second song off Peace Sells? Hahaha you got it wrong! You aren’t a real fan.” They played a short but intense set and threw in a couple of new songs as well as their old staples. Great to see this band getting support slots in big concerts here (they opened for 30 Seconds to Mars last year).
“It was an awesome experience, the sound crew were great and we had a fairly decent set given Mike’s bronchitis and all that. Had a blast watching Megadeth and Absolace, the latter having by far the best sound of the night,” said Sandwash guitarist Pavel.
I Love Dubai
This Gulf Bike Week show definitely goes straight to the top of the list as one of the most professionally organized shows we have been to. The sound was excellent from all areas of the venue and certainly we heard no complaints. The food and beverage stands were located in their own area (much like at The Eagles concert at the Se7ens last year) so people could chill out away from the music and have a bite to eat or drink, we liked the separation. Nothing like trying to much your way through your dinner surrounded by jostling people as we have seen with some concerts here.
The set up was also great, with the Rock Zone ticket holders close enough to feel the sweat off Dave Mustaine’s long locks. General Admission also got a fair view of the stage as the whole area is sloped towards the stage area.
The only niggle we had was the parking, it was so far away from the show and several people complained that where the shuttle dropped them off was as far from the stage area as the parking. Although this is a matter of geography not poor planning! Overall a fantastic show that we loved.
On a side note, we took our three-month old to the show (with ear defenders) and he slept through everything except the meet and greet with Megadeth, I think he also has more pictures taken of him than Megadeth did. Metalheads in Dubai are surprisingly into babies!
And finally: We heard a lot of people complaining that there were very few ‘real metalheads’ there and so many posers… please can someone enlighten me, what is a ‘real metalhead’ and why are people ‘posers’ if they decide they want to come and watch a band they may never have heard of/seen before because they think it might be fun/interesting/expand their horizons. Does that mean I was a poser when I went to my first metal concert? I say welcome everyone with open arms and show everyone that metalheads are the friendliest bunch of people!
Who cares how well the audience knows the band, what matters is they came, they saw and they fucking loved it \m/